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Understand Tinnitus

If you experience tinnitus, you're not alone. Tinnitus is a frequently occurring condition.

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Understand Tinnitus

Tinnitus is the perception of sound when there is no external source. Tinnitus is common condition that affects 10-15% of people.

Tinnitus builds gradually for some but can be sudden for others. Many experience short term tinnitus but, unfortunately for some, it can be an ongoing issue which interferes with daily activities.

Facts About Tinnitus


300 million people are affected by tinnitus around the globe.


60% of skilled workers over the age of 60 reported a noise in their ears.

1 in 8

It’s estimated that 1 in 8 people in the UK are living with persistent tinnitus.

Tinnitus FAQs

  • What are the symptoms of tinnitus?

    People’s experience of tinnitus differs greatly. Most commonly, you will hear it described as an annoying ringing in the ears.

    Tinnitus is often described as a buzzing, humming, hissing, or whistling sensation. It can be perceived as being in one or both ears, in the head or even outside the head in certain cases. For many, it’s a constant or fluctuating sound that they will hear all day long and even more so when it’s quiet (during the night, for example, when there is less noise to mask tinnitus) but for others it may be something that comes and goes.

    Some sufferers will report hearing one single sound whilst others can hear a multitude of sounds. On top of all of these common variations, the sound itself can also vary in both pitch and loudness.

  • What are the causes of tinnitus?

    Hearing loss, as a result of ageing, is by far the most common cause of tinnitus. Other common causes of tinnitus can include hearing loss, middle ear infection, Ménière’s disease, acoustic trauma caused by sudden exposure to loud noise, certain medications, head injury, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) and stress.

  • Is tinnitus a problem?

    The majority of people who have tinnitus are not particularly bothered by it; they may find it only mildly annoying and ultimately learn to live with it. For some people, however, living with tinnitus can have a serious impact on their quality of life, triggering anxiety, stress, depression and interfering with hearing, sleep and concentration. Whether it’s mild or severe, the good news is that tinnitus is not a life-threatening condition. Fortunately, the majority of people find that their tinnitus gets better over time. This is because the brain gradually learns to ‘filter it out’ and not pay attention to it. This process is called ‘habituation’. Habituation is one of the main goals of tinnitus treatment and management therapies.

  • Who is affected?

    Though not as widely discussed as some other health concerns, the reality is that around 10-15% of a population will experience bothersome tinnitus. To put that into context, if you take the latest population figures from the US (which, in 2019, was just over 328 million), that’s 32-49 million people who will live with tinnitus symptoms. People of all ages can get it; even children. Statistically though, it’s more common in adults as it is associated with hearing loss which is believed to increase with age. Many people get tinnitus for a short period of time (‘acute tinnitus’ is tinnitus that lasts for a maximum of three months). It can manifest after being exposed to loud music, perhaps at a concert or via headphones, but it can also arise due to an excess in ear wax, or as a result of a cold or a flu. In a lot of these cases, it will pass, but for some, it doesn’t go away, and can be a chronic and bothersome issue.

  • What are the types of tinnitus?

    Generally speaking, there are two types of tinnitus: Subjective Tinnitus and Objective Tinnitus.

    Subjective Tinnitus is tinnitus that only the person themselves can hear. This is the most common type of tinnitus, encompassing any and all of the aforementioned symptoms.

    Objective tinnitus is tinnitus that your healthcare professional can hear when they do an examination and put a stethoscope to the ear.

  • What do I do if I have tinnitus?

    For a lot of people, identifying the specific cause of their tinnitus symptoms proves difficult. For this reason, it’s important that patients experiencing tinnitus go and see their GP for a full examination in order to diagnose the underlying cause. In some cases, resolving the cause may alleviate the perception of tinnitus, such as an ear infection.

    If the GP cannot find an underlying cause, patients may be referred to an ENT Consultant for further investigation or to an audiologist to have their hearing assessed.

    Ótologie’s expert team specialise in treating tinnitus and will tailor a treatment plan to you, following a tinnitus assessment, using the latest evidence-based treatments.

  • How do I manage tinnitus?

    There is currently no cure for tinnitus. That being said, treatment and management therapies are available that can help reduce the impact of tinnitus so that people can live a normal active life. The aim of treatments, such as sound therapy, relaxation therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), is to help people effectively ignore or manage their tinnitus to the point where it is no longer a problem. Some treatments also aim to reduce the stress that can be associated with tinnitus. Of course, if there is an underlying cause of tinnitus that can be easily treated, such as an ear-wax blockage or an ear infection, treating this may get rid of the tinnitus.

    Audiologists may recommend one or more of the following options: sound therapy, including sound generators and hearing aids, relaxation exercises such as yoga, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Tinnitus Retraining Therapy, or Neuromodulation Treatment. Whichever treatment path is recommended to you, it is important to understand that it can take time for things to improve, be it the stress associated with tinnitus or the tinnitus symptoms themselves. If you are living with tinnitus, working on your mindset or your perception of the tinnitus is key. The goal of all treatment plans is essentially the same: to break the negativity associated with tinnitus. Some immediate relief may be achieved, but ultimately the aim is to become more comfortable with the tinnitus, to realise that it’s not life threatening and, most importantly, that patients are always in control of their response to it.

    What’s recommended for each patient will depend on the nature of their tinnitus, how it impacts them and whether they have any other underlying problems, like hearing loss, or stress. It may also depend on what is comfortable or acceptable for each patient.

Tips from the Ótologie Team

Watch this webinar to learn more about managing tinnitus.

  • What is tinnitus?
  • When should you speak to a medical professional if you have tinnitus?
  • What treatment options are available.
  • Why different treatments are recommended to different patients.
  • Day-to-day tips for managing your tinnitus

Want to start treatment with our team? Book your assessment now.

Treating Tinnitus with Lenire

Òtologie may prescribe treatment of your tinnitus with the Lenire device. Lenire is a clinically proven, use at-home medical device, designed to soothe tinnitus and improve your quality of life.

Learn more about Lenire

Treating Tinnitus with Therapy

Tinnitus Therapy is a talk therapy between a patient and a qualified therapist who specialises in tinnitus which aims to minimise its impact on their life by reducing stress and the attention a patient pays to their tinnitus.

Learn more about Tinnitus Therapy

Treating Tinnitus with Hearing Aids

Better hearing. Less bothersome tinnitus.

Hearing loss is a common cause of tinnitus. We choose hearings aids specifically to improve your symptoms.

Learn more about Hearing Aids

Better understand your tinnitus. Book your assessment today.

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